Hispanic Heritage Month honors the history and traditions of Latino culture.
From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, residents can recognize these contributions through exhibitions, live music, arts and other events.
The national observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. Two decades later, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to 30 days.
Nearly one in five people in the U.S. is Hispanic. According to the 2020 Census, they accounted for more than half of the country’s population growth in the past decade. Among metro areas registering greatest Latino growth is Tampa Bay, where 26% of the population is Hispanic.
Here’s a list of some local events:
Baseball at Tropicana Field
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay will host Hispanic Heritage Night in honor of Roberto Clemente during the Rays and Rangers game at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $25. Groups of 10 or more have a special rate. $5 from each ticket will go to support the chamber. For more information, visit Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay.
Celebrate in your library
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will feature a variety of ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, including workshops and art exhibitions, like My Land, featuring creations by the Coalition of Hispanic Artists (CHA).
The exhibit speaks of the artists’ deep cultural roots and their intent to preserve the customs and traditions of their countries. The exhibition will kick off from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17 at The Louise & Arnold Kotler Art Gallery, located in the John F. Germany Public Library, 900 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. For more information, visit www.hcplc.org.
University of South Florida
The Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of South Florida invites the community to Diaspora voices: Hispanic Heritage Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, at USF School of Music Concert Hall, 3755 USF Holly Drive. The event is free. For information about more events visit www.usf.edu/student-affairs/multicultural-affairs.
The Pinellas County Economic Development and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network will host the all-day Hispanic Business Conference. The event is set for Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m at EpiCenter, St. Petersburg College, 13805 58th St. N, Clearwater. The event is free but registration is required. For more information and a list of speakers, visit www.pced.org/page/Hispanic_Conference.
Great Parade and Festival
The Hernando Hispanic Heritage and Brooksville Main Street is hosting its inaugural Multicultural Parade & Festival at 10 a.m. Oct. 8, at Hernando Park, 205 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville. The festival starts at noon. There will be live music, food and art exhibition.
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ViVa Tampa Bay Concert and Latino fest
This annual event offers a unique opportunity to enjoy Latin foods and local band performances. There will be dance shows, and a recognition of the most influential local Hispanic leaders who will be receiving the ViVa Tampa Bay Heritage Community Heroes Award. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 900 E Scott St., Tampa. The event is free.
Also, don’t miss the 4th Annual Ford Taste of Latino Festival, from noon to 6 p.m., on Oct. 16 at Centennial Park in Historic Ybor City,1800 E 8th Ave. The event is open to the public.
City of Tampa
The City of Tampa will host the 34th Annual Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration at 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. This year’s guest speaker will be Benigno Lopez Jr., science teacher at Shields Middle School. Entertainment and music by Tampa Gymnastics, Dance Showstars and Tampa Bay Flamenco Dance Company.
Hispanic Farmers Market
Now in its second year, this Clearwater celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at 610 S Fort Harrison Ave. It will feature artisan crafts, pottery, jewelry, music and Latin cuisine. For more information, visit www.clwhispanicfarmersmarket.com.
Hispanic man and woman of the year
The Hispanic Heritage Committee of Tampa will honor and recognize Anthony Perez and Grace Maseda Sainz as the Hispanic Man and Woman of the Year. The award focuses on the work, commitment and dedication of local residents to the community. They will be recognized Oct. 21 at Tampa Armature Works, 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa. For tickets and information, visit www.tampahispanic.org.